A few places on the map also lie on the map of my heart. Florida, Kerala & Mexico are all imprinted on my soul for their own reasons. The surge of the Pandemic and the constraints it brings has left be with a void. That yearning to be somewhere amongst friendly faces, warm climes and of course, outstanding food.
To make a small imprint in this void I cook. I cook from deep within my soul to create sparks of those times gone by. Flavours kick starting the cognitive process of memories that warm my very core.
So today we are inspired by the Yucatan. Fresh, zingy, and bright. This soup is one to eat under the hot sun with the laughter flowing.
4 Chicken Thighs, skinless, bone in
1 Red Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled
1 tsp Dried Mexican Oregano
1 Strip Lime Zest
1 tbsp Black Peppercorns
1.5 litres Chicken Bouillon
4 Corn Tortillas, cut into strips
2 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
Salt to season
4 Limes, Juiced
1 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
3 Tomatoes, cubed
2 Green Chillies, sliced
2 tsp Dried Mexican Oregano
2 Green peppers, sliced
2 Avocados, cubed
Lime & Fresh Coriander to serve
1. Preheat oven 180C. Mix the tortilla strips with the oil and lay on a lined baking tray. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Sprinkle with salt and set aside on kitchen paper.
2. Make the broth. Add the chicken, onion, garlic, oregano, lime zest, black pepper, and chicken bouillon to a large pot. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Simmer until the chicken is falling away from the bone (about 20 minutes). Do not be tempted to hurry this as you will end up with tough chicken.
3. Take the chicken pieces out of the broth and allow to cool enough so you can shred them with a fork. Strain the broth into a clean pan.
4. Heat the oil in a pan and add the peppers and chillies. As they soften, add the tomatoes and oregano. Pour over the broth and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add the chicken, avocado and lime juice and turn off the heat. Taste. It should be tart, a little salty (depending on your bouillon you may need to add more) with a little chilli kick.
6. Adjust the seasoning and ladle into bowls. Serve with fresh coriander, lime wedges and the backed tortilla strips (Totopos)